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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 6:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It took me about three-tenths of a second (maybe less) to recognize how much John Davidson's arrival means to the Blue Jackets organization.

Imagine the minutes leading up to the big moment: me, miraculously dressed in a shirt-and-tie combo, fleeting through the halls of Nationwide Arena trying to get down to the loading back before 1:15 p.m., awaiting the arrival of the Davidson family. I nearly fell once, dropped my water bottle down a flight of stairs and incorrectly assumed that stomping my foot would make the elevator arrive sooner.

Such is the glorious life of the digital media department: on a day filled with such excitement and anticipation, I was playing the awkward role of part-reporter and part-paparazzi armed with an iPhone and new slacks I didn't want to dirty.

That lasted all of five seconds. I knelt on the ground of the loading dock, earning a dusty swatch on my left pant leg mere moments before the white GMC Yukon courtesy car rolled on to the premises.

But man...it was all worth it.

The thoughts running through my head were pretty comical: do I have food on my face? Do I look like a fool snapping a Twitpic of JD and his family when they've been in Columbus for all of an hour? High likelihood placed on the former, but the latter was quickly squashed.

Davidson arrived with his best support team: wife, Diana, and daughters Lindsay and Ashley. They walked in-step, together, all bearing smiles indicative of the great pride shared among them for John's big day. His daughters are grown and one is an aspiring veterinarian in Canada, but there was no chance of missing such an important time in their dad's life.


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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 9:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

The Blue Jackets have long said they would explore all avenues to fortify their hockey operations department, and when the opportunity to pursue one of the game's most respected executives arose, they jumped all over it.

Mike Priest and the Blue Jackets ownership group kept close tabs on John Davidson over the last year or so. With St. Louis going through an ownership change and the futures of many still up in the air, Priest wanted to be prepared in case he had the chance to make a move.

A clause in Davidson's contract with the Blues allowed him to speak with other teams and look at other ventures last spring, and in late May, he came to Columbus to meet with the Blue Jackets -- and that's where the connection began.

The final piece of the puzzle with Davidson and the Blue Jackets falls into place this afternoon.


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.23.2012 / 1:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


Did you miss Trivia Tuesday?

No fear -- we're back. After a couple weeks off, the CBJ Today blog is thrilled to once again feature our weekly trivia contest. We like testing your knowledge, sure, but the best part is having the opportunity to win some awesome Blue Jackets prizes.

If you've been keeping tabs on our Springfield Falcons coverage, you may have seen a feature story last week on Bruce Landon. Bruce has been a part of hockey in western Massachusetts for over 40 years, and he has something in common with a couple members of the Blue Jackets hockey operations department.


Click here to enter for YOUR chance to win!

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.22.2012 / 11:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Ryan Murray never thought the Everett Silvertips were far off from putting wins together, and it turns out he was right on the money.

They stumbled out of the gate and couldn't really get any part of their game going on a consistent basis. One night, their goaltending was poor. The next night, the Silvertips were unable to generate anything in the offensive zone and goal-scoring become worrisome.

Apparently, all it took was the season's longest road trip to get Everett back on track.

In closing out their six-game, two-week trek through the plains of western Canada, the Silvertips won three straight to leap frog the Seattle Thunderbirds and climb out of the cellar in the WHL's U.S. Division.

After an impressive 3-1 win over the Swift Current Broncos last Wednesday, the Silvertips moved on to Prince Albert to begin the weekend on Friday. The Art Hauser Centre is never an easy place to play, and with the Raiders off to a good start, the Silvertips needed one of their most complete games to maintain their winning ways.


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POSTED ON Friday, 10.19.2012 / 10:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

3:30 P.M. -- This will be a very abbreviated version of the Springfield Falcons game day blog, but make no mistake: tonight's game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins is a big one for Springy.

Not only will the Falcons move to 3-0-0 for the first time ever with a victory, it will be an important step in carrying momentum over from opening weekend. They escaped with no major injuries (though Dalton Smith did get a scare) and held their own against two very good teams in the American Hockey League.

The Baby Pens are an interesting opponent because they're one of the few teams that hasn't received a lot of NHL-caliber help from the parent club. Are they still a solid club? Absolutely, but it's not an Oklahoma City situation with the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins suiting for the farm club.


Continue reading the GAME DAY blog by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.18.2012 / 11:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

"Tough sledding" would probably be an accurate descriptor for the first month of the season in Everett, but the Silvertips have also played better than their record shows.

It's been an up-and-down start, too, with the Silvertips struggling to score goals and get consistent goaltending, but also getting contributions from some unexpected places. Only three teams in the Western Hockey League (WHL) have yielded more goals than they have (43), the Brandon Wheat Kings, Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers.

Early-season trades and personnel changes have not helped Everett (3-7-1, 7 points) much to this point, but there are some signs that fortunes could be turning.

For as poorly as they have played at times, the Silvertips are only three points back of Seattle and four wins behind the first-place Tri-City Americans. The season is long and the road ahead is long, so there is no reason for panic within the Silvertips dressing room, but getting wins under their belts and building some confidence is paramount.


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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.17.2012 / 10:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


NOTE: This is the weekly column of BlueJackets.com writer Rob Mixer. Follow Rob on Twitter by clicking here, and be sure to follow his regular updates on the CBJ Today blog.

I had no idea what to expect when I got to Springfield, Mass. last weekend.

Along with Jackets TV producer Will Maetzold, we pulled up to the MassMutual Center in a GMC Yukon that was decked out head-to-toe in Blue Jackets decor. There's nothing easy about parking the enormous beast with a 30-gallon tank, but nothing beats traveling in style, either.

The thoughts running through my head during a 12-hour trek on I-90 followed a common theme: what kind of Springfield Falcons team are we going to find when we get there?


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POSTED ON Sunday, 10.14.2012 / 5:46 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (2-0-0) 4, ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (1-1-0) 0
MassMutual Center | Springfield, MA
Attendance: 2,109


THE RUNDOWN
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- 
Prior to this afternoon's game, Brad Larsen said that regardless of any lineup changes he makes, the Falcons needed to wipe the slate clean and start over. This game would be an entirely different animal, he cautioned, and it turned out he was right.

Roles were reversed to open this contest as the Adirondack Phantoms got the start they were looking for, but could not capitalize on a number of quality opportunities. They were gifted two 5-on-3 power plays in the first period alone and generated 11 shots on goal in the opening stanza -- only to come up empty.

The Phantoms were 0-for-4 on the power play in the first period and the last penalty kill seemed to energize the Falcons, who were back on their heels for the first time in this very young season. Springfield relied on its top line to get things going, and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault did just that. He won a puck battle low in the offensive zone and slipped a pass to Ryan Johansen, who put on a dangling clinic on his way to the cage.

His last move was cutting across the paint and using his long reach to slam the puck into the far side, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead at 15:53 of the period. The goal was as artful as it was sorelyt needed, as it deflated the Phantoms and gave the home side an edge in momentum headed to the dressing room.


Continue reading POST GAME by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Sunday, 10.14.2012 / 9:20 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


11:30 A.M. -- It's never easy for a goaltender who's coming off an injury and playing his first regular-season game in almost nine months, but Curtis McElhinney answered the bell last night. He shook off some early rust and made 23 saves in the Falcons' win.

Read more about McElhinney's opening-night performance in this feature.

Continue reading today's GAME DAY blog by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.13.2012 / 10:20 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today



SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (1-0-0) 4, ST. JOHN'S ICE CAPS (0-1-0) 2
MassMutual Center | Springfield, MA
Attendance: 6,151


THE RUNDOWN
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- There were a few things that Falcons head coach Brad Larsen liked about tonight's season-opening win, but first and foremost, his team never sagged in the face of adversity.

With an electric crowd on hand at the MassMutual Center and the budding excitement of a new chapter prevalent throughout, the Falcons were hot out of the gates and put the visitors back on their heels. But despite holding a heavy advantage in shots on goal, Springfield found itself in an early hole.

A cross-checking penalty to Dalton Prout gave the IceCaps a power play chance they would indeed cash in on, thanks to a nifty goal from Carl Klingberg just over eight minutes in.

But the counterpunch was what propeled the Falcons into the catbird seat.


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